School Profile

About Us

Excelsior Classical Academy, a Challenge Foundation Academy, is a tuition-free public charter school with a rigorous, college-preparatory, liberal arts focus.

We started in the 2015-2016 school year with grades K-4. We are adding a grade a year to grow to K-12. Our first graduating class will be the class of 2024.

School hours: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 3:30pm.
Drop-off begins 7:55am and pick-up begins at 3:30pm.
School office hours are Monday – Friday 7:30am – 4:00pm.

School calendar: We have a modified year-round calendar. We typically start at the beginning of August and end in the second week in June. We have a one-week Fall break, a two to three week Winter Break, and a two to three week Spring Break. Students have about six weeks off in the summer.

Current school year academic calendar

Our Mission

Excelsior Classical Academy CFA is a public charter school dedicated to providing excellence and equity in education by developing in every student a foundation of knowledge, a practice of reason, a quality of eloquence, and a habit of virtue, to prepare each student for a lifetime of learning and citizenship.

Our Vision

Excelsior Classical Academy is animated by the vision that human beings are inherently driven to the exploration of the unknown, the acquisition of knowledge, the creation of community, and the appreciation of beauty. At Excelsior Classical Academy, we cherish every student as an individual and we believe in providing an excellent and equitable education for all students. Our students will graduate with:

  • Habitual practice of virtues, such as honesty, responsibility, and integrity.
  • High personal expectations, a strong sense of self, and the pursuit of excellence.
  • Knowledge that hard work and perseverance lead to intellectual growth.
  • Appreciation of culture, a broad base of knowledge, and a thirst for continual learning.
  • The ability to communicate clearly and expressively.
  • Good judgment, reason, and hunger for truth.
  • Zeal for fairness and justice.
  • Understanding and fulfillment of civic duty.
  • Respectful behavior and a kind attitude toward others.

We value the partnership which exists among school, parents, and community, and we recognize the part it plays in realizing this vision.

Our Program

Excelsior means “higher” in Latin, and at Excelsior Classical Academy CFA, we will strive for continuous improvement in academics and character. We will help each student reach higher by providing a rigorous, rich curriculum in an environment that promotes responsibility, integrity, diligence, and excellence.

We firmly believe in making this educational option accessible to all students in the Durham area. We intentionally pursue diversity in our Board, our staff, and our student population. Our goal is to reflect the diversity of Durham. In order to allow anyone who wants to attend our school to do so, we

  • offer busing to those who need it.
  • provide free or reduced-price lunch to those who qualify.
  • provide assistance with uniforms to those who qualify.
  • offer a Before- and After-School Program.

Curriculum

  • A classical curriculum based on the Trivium of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric
  • The Core Knowledge Sequence in grades K-8
  • The Core Knowledge Language Arts Program in grades K-3
  • Singapore Math
  • Spanish in grades K-5
  • Latin in grades 6-8
  • Additional three years of language study in high school
  • Fine arts instruction in grades K-12
  • Character education and service learning
  • Daily physical activity

Teaching Methods

  • Direct instruction/lecture
  • Socratic questioning
  • Class discussion
  • Seminars
  • Differentiation
  • Individual and group work, as appropriate

Philosophy

Teachers will foster a growth mindset, encouraging all students to believe that intelligence can increase through learning, perseverance, and hard work. All students will be treated as individuals, with high academic expectations for all.

Dress Code

Our students wear uniforms to place the focus on academics; instill school pride, unity, and spirit; and remove distinctions of socio-economic status.

Our Motto

Eruditio et Virtus (Learning and Virtue)

Our Mascot

Flying Lion

clean flying lion logo

Flying Lions take Personal Responsibility IDaily Effort in our school!

Our Colors

Green and Gold

Excelsior Classical Academy CFA does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, creed, or gender.

Excelsior is a member of TeamCFA, a growing network of quality charter schools in three regions across the country. Our schools bring quality school choice to the communities and families we serve. We invite you to learn more about our network at www.teamcfa.org.

Our Charter

Excelsior Charter Application 12-5-2013

Combined Appendices for Excelsior Application 12-5-2013

School Report Card

Excelsior Classical Academy opened in the 2015-2016 school year. We had new teachers, new administrators, and new curricula, and we brought new students together from many different schools and backgrounds from all over Durham County and beyond. It was a difficult year, but we had many positive experiences, too. At the end of our first year, our students took the State End of Grade tests. They had been at our new school for nine months when they were assessed by the state. Based solely on the North Carolina End of Grade tests for Third and Fourth Grade, we received a School Grade of D for the year. Our Performance Score for 2015-2016 was 49, and we did not meet expected growth.

Click here to see the report card for 2016.

In our second year, we continued to teach our curriculum and to work on student achievement and growth. For the 2016-2017 school year, based on North Carolina End of Grade tests for Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades, we received a School Grade of C. Our Performance Score for 2017 was 59 and we met expected growth.

You can click here to see the overall results for 2017.

In 2017-2018, our third year of existence, we received a School Grade of C again based on EOGs for Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades. Our Performance Score for 2018 was 65 and we met expected growth.

You can view our results for last year on the WRAL website. When the results for 2018 are up on the SAS NCReportCards site, we will post the link here.

We are pleased with our steady improvement, but are by no means satisfied with a C. We want everyone to be on grade level or higher, with all students meeting at least expected growth each year. Our eventual goal is to have at least 95% of our students at grade level or higher, with no achievement gaps between socio-economic groups. This will take time, but we are committed to it.

Read to Achieve 2017-2018